One of the more/most interesting reads in digital transformation is the NHS.UK Alpha blog.

Some genuinely smashing work being done by the team there, driven by a spot-on lean approach: starting with research (to find user needs), rapid exploration of ideas through design and prototypes, and then analysis to start the loop again. Exciting to know the spirit of GDS is being adopted within an organisation that the public has massive affinity with going back decades.

Another key part of the team is the openness in which they work, with regular blog posts. They also have regular show and tells. And I’ve been lucky to spend some time with the team on several occasions. It’s all genuinely great stuff, the kind of stuff a lot of us in the “transformation game” wake up every day to be involved with.

The latest blog post is a cracker, detailing a hack day held in Leeds.

Although it’s called a hack day we tend to avoid writing any code because paper prototypes allow the whole team to be involved in ideas.

The focus on their hack days is crystal clear:

One of the most important features of a hack day is putting known constraints to one side. Many of us have years of experience of why things are done in a certain way or cannot be done in another. Hack days are about understanding user needs and seeing what could be done to meet them.

And initiating the uninitiated to the ways of working is given due care and attention:

Where possible, have some examples of the things you are expecting people to create, i.e. personas. For people new to agile and the hack day idea it might help to have a practical example.

There’s a lot more in the post, it’s a real goldmine, as is the rest of the NHS.UK Alpha blog. Give it a read and stay up to date.


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